Graystone Dancing - calling it a new style

tangobro

Active Member
#2
it's neither a new style nor Argentine tango. Graystone Ballroom is a dance named for Detroit's Graystone Ballroom. The Graystone Ballroom in Detroit was open from the 1920's till the 1950's, a time when African Americans & people of color were prohibited from attending schools, hospitals, churches, ballrooms etc. with white people. On Monday nights the Graystone Ballroom had "Colored Nights" when people of color could attend, listen & dance to the music of Cab Calloway & other orchestras.

The Graystone Ballroom dance was reintroduced to wider communities by those who remembered the dance style of their elders. Some say it had roots in the Foxtrot. It's style of walking in an embrace looks, at 1st glance, similar to Argentine Tango but is in many ways very different from Argentine Tango.

 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#4
it's neither a new style nor Argentine tango. Graystone Ballroom is a dance named for Detroit's Graystone Ballroom. The Graystone Ballroom in Detroit was open from the 1920's till the 1950's, a time when African Americans & people of color were prohibited from attending schools, hospitals, churches, ballrooms etc. with white people. On Monday nights the Graystone Ballroom had "Colored Nights" when people of color could attend, listen & dance to the music of Cab Calloway & other orchestras.

The Graystone Ballroom dance was reintroduced to wider communities by those who remembered the dance style of their elders. Some say it had roots in the Foxtrot. It's style of walking in an embrace looks, at 1st glance, similar to Argentine Tango but is in many ways very different from Argentine Tango.

Kinda like Chicago steppin, IMV. An indigenous African American dance form that *had to* develop in parallel to other dance forms. By law. It's not surprising that this dance developed along similar paths to "mainstream" dances of the time. Popular culture was what it was, back then. And Jim Crow was what he was. *shrug*

Looks pretty awesome, btw, and it doesn't have that annoying lean of AT. :D I wonder where I can learn it. :cool:
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#5
It's style of walking in an embrace looks, at 1st glance, similar to Argentine Tango but is in many ways very different from Argentine Tango.
How so? As an experienced AT-er, it looks exactly like AT to different music (which I have done countless times) to me. What, exactly, can you point to as being different?
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
#6
How so? As an experienced AT-er, it looks exactly like AT to different music (which I have done countless times) to me. What, exactly, can you point to as being different?
Hmm. Hard to tell just by sight, but it looks to me like there is a little more "swing" or "sway" to the Greystone. You can add that to AT, but that's definitely more modernish than traditional as you know. :)

Incidentally, I can't remember where I read it, but I heard in the early 1900s Foxtrot and AT shared more characteristics (as they were danced in the social setting) than we think of them as having today. The big difference was the music of course, but as far as style and interpretation there was a great deal of personal freedom.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#7
tangobro said:
..style of walking in an embrace..... at 1st glance, similar to Argentine Tango but is in many ways very different from Argentine Tango.
.. As an experienced AT-er, it looks exactly like AT to different music (which I have done countless times) to me..
This kind of embrace (and the corresponding leading technique) isn´t exclusively found in tango! It´s widely used in south america, f.i. in vals criollo, bolero, danzón. In european /french balfolk we dance the mazurka in this hold. And remembering right I once danced balboa on a packed dancefloor also this way.

...in the early 1900s Foxtrot and AT shared more characteristics....
In videos of the 1920s also in fox no leaning backwards is traceable. The BR frame is a modern invention that drove the styles apart. In this sense Graystone ballroom style seems to be a fossil.
 
#10
"GrAystone Style" is a closed embrace partner dance originated from Paradise Valley Detroit. There are three "Components" "GrAystone" "Chop" and "Cuttime". Darrell was a student in Detroit. I teach "GrAystone Style" and would by happy to explain the concept. The basis is one long step and two short steps along the line of dance when room permits or circular in small areas. It's lead and follow with total improvisation of movement. Thank you.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#11
Looks to me like Argentine Tango to other music forms but they are trying to give it the name Graystone. I will let you be the judge

The "Poor" mans T/Arg./Amer style

And, if you are going to wear BR shoes, as Eggy once said, darken the soles , or you will look like a rabbit running across the floor !
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#12
This kind of embrace (and the corresponding leading technique) isn´t exclusively found in tango! It´s widely used in south america, f.i. in vals criollo, bolero, danzón. In european /french balfolk we dance the mazurka in this hold. And remembering right I once danced balboa on a packed dancefloor also this way.

In videos of the 1920s also in fox no leaning backwards is traceable. The BR frame is a modern invention that drove the styles apart. In this sense Graystone ballroom style seems to be a fossil.

Bolero and Danzon are danced in a much more upright position. The 2 closest to that vid,hold/frame wise , are T/A and Balboa .

As to BR, the "Pitch " was much more "forward " than is taught today ( as late as the late 40s early 50s ) .
 
#14
What's called "GrAystone" evolved from R&B music which came from jazz which came from Blues etc. I never thought for one moment it looked like a "rabbit running across the floor". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 
#15
The "Poor" mans T/Arg./Amer style

And, if you are going to wear BR shoes, as Eggy once said, darken the soles , or you will look like a rabbit running across the floor !
It appears maybe my initial assumption was wrong. It isn't a dance style so much. More it was names after Graystone Ballroom (but also I think I am "somewhat" correct). Nothing wrong with innovating, but only a few will see their creations spread (if they are even unique).
 
#16
"GrAystone Style" originally "Social" was done in a small area (venue). The Graystone Ballroom allowed for movement around the dance floor. ("line of dance"). Many dances are similar. Dance comes from music. I can "GrAystone" to Tango music and vice versa. Many regions developed a "Style" of dance uniquely their own.
 

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